Managing Expectations: Dealing with Silence During Your Job Search

Woman waiting with her hands clasped on desk, waiting for iphone to ring

Managing Expectations: Dealing with Silence During Your Job Search

May 22, 2023

Woman waiting with her hands clasped on desk, waiting for iphone to ringWhen you’re actively looking for a job, not hearing back from employers, network contacts, or interviewers can be extremely frustrating. The waiting game can feel never-ending, and it's easy to become disheartened.

Unfortunately, the answer is not to stop or skip the silence. Rather, you need to learn how to manage your expectations and accept the silence that comes with the process.

Below are three key pieces of advice to help you manage the silent times, which will also help you have realistic expectations and stay confident.

Realistically Assess Your Timeline

The first step in managing your expectations as a job seeker is to realistically assess your timeline for finding a new job.

If I were to ask you when you want to be re-employed, it's likely that you’re thinking: "As soon as possible!" However, it's important to set a timeline that is feasible and takes into consideration the typical hiring process in your industry and location.

For example, if you are planning to spend six to eight weeks to find a job, you should already be in the interview process. The entire process, starting from when you’re first looking for a job to apply for, takes much longer than that. Setting unrealistic expectations for a quick turnaround can lead to disappointment and frustration.

Other factors that can affect your timeline for finding a job include your qualifications and experience. If you have the skills and experience that are currently in demand in your industry and the companies you are applying to, your job search may be shorter compared to someone who lacks these qualifications.

Additionally, the process you are following to find a can also impact your timeline. If you're not utilizing effective and organized job search methods, it may take even longer to receive a job offer.

Seek Realistic Expectations

Another way to manage your expectations is to seek realistic advice from a career coach or other career guidance resource. Many early to mid-career professionals and recent college graduates may not have a clear understanding of the job search process or the current job market.

Seeking guidance from professionals who can provide insight into your specific industry and local job market can help you set more realistic expectations. Career coaches can also help you determine how much work you need to do to reach your goal and provide valuable strategies and insights to improve your job search.

Consider Market Conditions

The condition of the market you are in can also impact your job search timeline and expectations. Job markets can vary greatly depending on the location and industry, and it's important to consider these factors when setting your expectations.

Research your local job market and determine if it's a good time to be looking for a job in your field. For example, some industries may be experiencing high demand for certain roles, while others may be more competitive or have limited job opportunities. If you're considering a career change or looking to transition to a different location, be aware that it may take longer to find a job in a new field or area.

Managing your own expectations is a crucial aspect of the job search process. When you set realistic timelines, seek advice from career professionals, and consider market conditions, you can keep yourself confident and motivated during your job search journey.

Remember that job searches almost always take longer than we anticipate. It's important to be patient and persistent while also being realistic about the process. With the right mindset and strategy, you can increase your chances of success in finding your next job opportunity. Good luck!

What if you could find out about job openings before they were posted?

Download the guide, The Secret to Getting to the Front of the Line, and learn how to access the hidden job market.

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Strategies for Navigating Psychological Safety in the Workplace

Work team members in an office, talking as a group.

Strategies for Navigating Psychological Safety in the Workplace

April 10, 2023

Work team members in an office, talking as a group. In the modern workplace, employees are expected to bring their best ideas and thoughts to the table. However, for many, expressing their opinions and thoughts can be a daunting task. This is where psychological safety comes into play.

Let’s dive deeper into the concept of psychological safety in the workplace and explore what you can do if you feel that your workplace is not a psychologically safe environment.

What is psychological safety?

According to Garnter, “Psychological safety is an environment that encourages, recognizes and rewards individuals for their contributions and ideas by making individuals feel safe when taking interpersonal risks.”

Taking it from the opposite perspective, the Center for Creative Leadership describes psychological safety as “the belief that you won't be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.”

What is psychological safety in the workplace?

When you take a look at Psychological safety as it applies to the workspace, Gartner explains that it is “a shared expectation held by members of a team that teammates will not embarrass, reject, or punish them for sharing ideas, taking risks, or soliciting feedback.”

What does this mean for you?

If you have differing point of view with your colleagues or manager, it’s important that you feel comfortable expressing your opinion.

Speaking up to your manager is a courageous act all on its own. If done respectfully, the outcome can be positive.

However, I have learned that many of my clients do not feel safe expressing their opinions at work. As a result, they are stressed, anxious about going to work, and not fully engaged in their workplace. Their overall well-being is affected across the board, both at work and in their personal lives.

Fear prevents employees from voicing their opinions. They are afraid of being fired, or of being given a negative performance review because they were deemed “difficult.” They worry about getting on someone’s radar; if they cross the line just once, they can be labeled and on a powerful person’s bad side from there on out.

If your workplace is psychologically unsafe, what can you do about it?

You could talk to your boss. If you feel like they are approachable and just not aware of the impact on you and your colleagues, a simple conversation might be enough to make the changes that you need. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. If no one has spoken up to them before, they may just not realize that what is happening is inappropriate.

If the issue is with your manager or your colleagues, and your boss isn’t approachable or responsive to your concerns, consider talking to their manager. (I think of them as the “big boss.”) It is possible that they aren’t aware of the situation and wouldn’t approve of it if they knew about it. This can be a scary option, especially if you’re concerned your immediate boss will be angry that you went over their head and take it out on you.

This is a great time to find a coach. When you talk to your boss or the “big boss” about these types of sensitive topics, it can be difficult to know what to say or how to say it. A coach can help you put together how you want to convey your message. They can also help you gather the courage that you’ll need to take these steps.

This whole scenario is just one reason why it can be helpful to develop positive relationships with your boss and their boss. Ideally, you don’t want the first time you talk to the “big boss” to be when you’re talking about a problem that you’re experiencing.

If neither your boss nor the “big boss” is responsive, that may be the time bring in HR. I consider HR to be the last resort. It’s important to make sure you try other steps first. Once you bring in HR, you’re bringing in more people and a bigger response. This is another good time to have a coach who has your back. They can help you find the right words to explain what you are experiencing and guide you through what may be an emotionally challenging time.

If you experience a lack of psychological safety throughout the company, it’s likely embedded in the culture. Your boss and their boss may not only be unaware that it’s happening; they may see it as “this is just how things work around here.” If they don’t understand the problem (or are so much a part of the problem that you can’t talk to them) it still might be worth talking to HR. It is possible that they don’t realize the negative experience of the culture on their employees. But if it’s truly embedded in the company culture, it’s going to be even more difficult to drive change, especially in a very big corporation.

If you truly feel like there’s no way for you to change what’s happening, your best option may be to leave. If that’s the case, at least you now know more about what you don’t want in the company you work for.

Remember that you deserve to be treated with respect, kindness, and compassion by everyone, especially by your manager and colleagues.

What if you could find out about job openings before they were posted?

Download the guide, The Secret to Getting to the Front of the Line, and learn how to access the hidden job market.

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